Nutrition When Injured
Injury is an unfortunate factor that goes along with participation in sport. Whether professional or recreational, most of us will have experienced injury in some form or another which can force us out of training for a long period of time depending on the severity of it.
What a lot of people fail to consider when suffering from an injury is their nutrition and how it will have an effect on goals and body composition. When training, our calorie and macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate & fat) requirements are increased to provide us with the energy and nutrients the body needs in order to perform at the optimum intensity. However, when an injury occurs, we will often spend a prolonged period of time resting the injury and can be quite sedentary. With this in mind, the calorie and macronutrient requirements are drastically reduced.
It is quite common for people to continue eating the same foods and at the same quantities as they did prior to the injury and it can also lead to people reaching for unhealthy snacks such as chocolate, sweets, crisps etc due to boredom or even the stress associated with not training. If this is the case it will easily result in an increase in body fat which is going to lead to more issues when you are getting back to training and full fitness.
I recently suffered an ankle injury playing 5 a side football which has meant I have been unable to do any training for 2 weeks so far. It was important that I adjusted my calories and macros to make sure I am not putting on any unwanted body fat.
Prior to my injury I needed around 2900kcals a day as well as 130g of protein and 500g of carbohydrate for my goals. Now that I am unable to do any exercise I have had to drop these down to around 2400kcals, 130g of protein and 300g of carbohydrate. Looking at these figures, 500 kcals and 200g of carbohydrate is quite a lot. Simple ideas like slightly reducing portion sizes at each meal will help to reduce these figures down while also preventing feelings of hunger which could occur if you try cutting out a meal or snack from your normal routine.
If you do suffer an injury or have an extended period of time that you are unable to train, make sure you factor this in when planning your nutrition, otherwise you may find yourself a few kg heavier when you get back to training again. The best time to plan injury nutrition is as soon as possible after it occurs to minimise any disruption to body composition.
Throughout the year, nutrition goals will not stay the same and will change many times depending on training volume and intensity, seasons as well as factors such as injury and illness. This is why it is very important that you plan your nutrition and track exactly what you are taking in so you know how to change it according to the changing needs.
If you need assistance with getting a better understanding of your nutrition requirements get in touch and find out how I can help you achieve your goals!